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The top executives of the country's largest nonprofit organizations received mid-range pay increases of 5.7 percent last year compared with 2.9 percent in 1997, a new survey finds. The median salary was $207,990.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy conducted the survey of 246 chief executives from its Philanthropy 400 list of nonprofit groups and from the nation's 20 richest private foundations.

John W. Rowe, president of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, was the highest-paid executive, earning $1.1 million.

The survey's highest earner was an academician -- Wayne Isom, chairman of the cardiothoracic surgery department at Cornell University, who was paid more than $1.7 million.

The survey also examined the race, gender and ethnicity of the leaders of America's biggest non-profit organizations. Of the 154 organizations that provided figures on their five highest-paid employees, 7 percent were black or Hispanic. Women held a little more than one-fourth of the leadership positions.

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